Summer exhibition of art opens in Swanage to help ‘boost morale’

The Isle of Purbeck Arts Club summer exhibition is back with artwork and poetry plus a chance to find out more about the club.

The event which runs from Saturday 20th to Monday 29th August 2022 is at the Catholic Hall on Rempstone Road, at the junction with Victoria Road in Swanage. It’s open every day from 10 am to 5 pm.

Isle of Purbeck Arts Club exhibition

The exhibition is at the Catholic Church Hall in Rempstone Road

Founded more than 70 years ago

The Isle of Purbeck Arts Club was founded more than 70 years ago to “boost morale” in a post war era when the country and Swanage was recovering from the effects of World War Two.

The club has an art group called the Studio Workshop as well as a poetry group. There’s also the visual arts club with social outings to the theatre and exhibitions.

Set up to support the arts across Purbeck, it also runs an instrument loan scheme to encourage more young people to take up a musical instrument. There’s also three bursaries that it adminsters, providing grants to help new creative talent.

Isle of Purbeck Arts Club exhibition
Isle of Purbeck Arts Club exhibition

The exhibition features work by local artists

Studio Workshop

The Studio Workshop meets on Tuesday mornings from 9.30 am to 12 noon during the autumn and spring terms.

These sessions at the Catholic Hall on Rempstone Road include drawing from life, portrait sketching and still life, however members are free to work on their own work.

Isle of Purbeck Arts Club exhibition
Isle of Purbeck Arts Club exhibition

Studio Workshop member Barry Goulding (left) with Sue Farmer (right)

“Chance to be among like minded people”

Secretary for the Studio Workshop Sue Farmer said:

“We do have life models and tuition sessions but really it’s a chance to be among like minded people.

“I find coming to the club also helps you focus on your art – it’s two and a half hours to get on with whatever artwork that you wish to, with no distractions!”

Isle of Purbeck Arts Club members sketching outdoors

The Studio Workshop members spend the summer painting outdoors

“Good to get outside”

In the summer term the sessions go outdoors. Penny Barker summer programme coordinator said:

“Every year I organise a programme of outdoor locations where we all go to sit and draw or paint. From some lovely old manor houses to beach huts, I aim to create a varied schedule that appeals to all.

“It’s so good to be painting what you see in front of you rather than trying to draw inspiration from photographs. It’s also good to get outside and enjoy the outdoors.

“Of course, during the pandemic, it was a real tonic to be out in the fresh air and many are finding that they’re continuing to enjoy it.”

Isle of Purbeck Arts Club exhibition

Studio Workshop member Brenda Woodford (left) with Penny Barker (right)

“Open to all abilities”

With the origins of the organisation based on helping people cope in a post war era, now there’s an emphasis on encouraging others to join the club, post pandemic.

Art and creative pursuits are well documented to help improve mental health and wellbeing.

Studio Workshop member Brenda Woodford added:

“The group is open to all abilities and we welcome new members. Anyone interested should just turn up to our Tuesday morning sessions.”

The bursaries support young creative talent; the Douglas Strickland Fund which offers help to schools, the Emmie and Rex Neate Fund which provides grants to talented students to further their artistic careers and the Pat Tunnell Fund which provides tuition to singers.

Isle of Purbeck Arts Club exhibition

Further information

  • Applications for the Emma and Rex Neate Fund are currently open until the end of August 2022. Forms are available from The Purbeck New Wave Gallery in the High Street in Swanage or via the Isle of Purbeck website along with further information about the club.
Isle of Purbeck Arts Club poster

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